I get that he has stood up for himself to the media, and he said things people agree with about illegal immigration, but being a tough guy who is right on one issue does not a president make.
Trump isn’t even a conservative. He stood on stage Thursday night and defended universal healthcare. He stood on stage and proudly admitted that he had contributed to the corruption in Washington he now says he will fix. In the past he has come out in favor of gun control and in favor of fixing the deficit by forcing wealthy Americans to forfeit about 15% of their total net worth. These aren’t conservative positions and, unfortunately, he isn’t correcting them in any of the interviews I’ve seen or the debate (he did give a good answer on abortion, for which I give him credit, but it was the only good answer he gave all night). This is the person conservatives are hitching their wagon to? Seriously? He has offered nothing but anger and empty platitudes.
He has been consistently asked how he plans to accomplish any of the outlandish things he claims he can do, like forcing Mexico to pay for a wall on the border, and he always brushes it off by saying something like, “Trust me, I’ll do it.” What kind of answer is that? His website doesn’t list any of his positions or how he will fulfill any of his campaign promises. It sounds like he is making a bunch of promises he has no idea how to keep.
And then we have the issue with misogyny. Other people have said it and it is true, whether or not it was a good/fair question, Trump had the opportunity to respond to it well and put the issue to bed. The sad thing is, he was doing a decent job until he threatened Kelly at the end of his response. Then he followed that up by attacking her for two days straight like a petulant child having a fit, calling her a bimbo by proxy, and now intimating that she was mean Thursday because she was on her period. Seriously?
I’ve seen people defend Trump by saying we don’t need another polished, do-nothing politician, but there is a base level of decency and class that a person running for the office of POTUS should display, and Trump doesn’t. Yes, I get the idea that he gives back what he gets. Super. But at some point you have to rise above it and be the sane one in the room. Just as an example, when Trump as president has a bad negotiation with Angela Merkel, will he call Don Lemon and call her a pig? Will he intimate things fell apart because she was on her period? He hasn’t given us any reason to think not.
I’m also amazed at the reaction toward Fox News. I guess Trump supporters expected the moderators to just put the questions on a tee so the candidates could spew talking points and everybody could just call it a night. But they didn’t, they actually did their jobs. And it was fair. They asked all the other candidates really tough questions as well, and most of them did a really good job of answering. If Trump’s sounded harsher, that’s because he has said and done some really stupid things that he will have to answer for on the trail. That’s life and that’s how campaigns work. Honestly, how was the questioning of Trump any more difficult than the question Christie got about his state’s credit rating being downgraded nine times, Ben Carson being knocked hard for his lack of knowledge in previous remarks, or Scott Walker being asked if his abortion stance would let mothers die?
And did anyone notice the questions the JV contestants got? To Gov. Bobby Jindal: Almost no one in Louisiana likes you. To Rick Perry, the former Texas governor: You can’t possibly think anyone would vote for you after your last presidential campaign. To Jim Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia: Aren’t you too old? To George E. Pataki, the former New York governor: Who are you again? These are things these candidates may be attacked with in the future, so why not get it out in the open early and see what they do. But they all handled themselves pretty well.
The notable exception is the candidate I have seen Trump supporters claiming Fox was in the tank for, Jeb Bush. He answered some of his questions atrociously. If Fox was in the tank for him, they did a terrible job of it. I’ve even seen some people suggest they gave him his questions ahead of time so he could be prepared. If that is true, he did a horrendous job. He floundered on the Common Core issue, which is an issue a lot of people will refuse to vote for a candidate over no matter how great his stances are on other issues. And he basically admitted he was a lazy moron who approved budgets without reading them on the Planned Parenthood question. Someone will play the clip of Pelosi saying they have to pass the bill to see what’s in it and then play that soundbite of him right after. And how will he answer it? He won’t be able.
This is ridiculous. Trump fans went into this debate with their minds made up. They must be buying into the cult of celebrity, because their chosen candidate isn’t offering much substance. I don’t see how they thought this was unfair at all. The moderatos were there to poke holes in the candidates’ canned talking points and make them answer for the mistakes they’ve made in the past. Some rose to the occasion and sounded authoritative and in control by doing so. In other words, they sounded presidential. Trump sounded flummoxed during the debate and then like a scolded child pitching a fit afterward. But it won’t get easier. As the campaign wears on the media will ask increasingly difficult questions. Some seem ready to handle them graciously and give solid responses. Trump’s plan seems to be to dodge and deflect, and then attack the media as unfair and biased afterward. I guess we will see if that is a sustainable tactic.